F1: Russell confident of beating Verstappen to victory in Canadian Grand Prix

F1: Russell confident of beating Verstappen to victory in Canadian Grand Prix

George Russell is confident he can overcome Max Verstappen by converting his pole position into victory in Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix.

Russell pipped Verstappen to claim his second-ever pole position and Mercedes’ first of 2024 during Saturday’s qualifying session, setting identical lap times of one minute, 12 seconds but having the privilege of being the first to clock it in.

“Yeah absolutely, I see no reason why not,” Russell said when asked if he was sure of victory on Sunday.

“Ferrari were not in the mix but it’s been getting increasingly close between all the teams and it’s really great to see.

“Let’s see how it pans out and let’s see how it pans out in the coming races.

“I see no reason why we can’t fight for victory. We’ve had the fastest car this weekend and I’m feeling really good behind the wheel.”

Meanwhile, Russell’s Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton was puzzled by his drop in pace in qualifying after topping the final practice session in commanding fashion.

It marked the first time in the seven-time world champion’s F1 career that he failed to qualify inside the top five in Canada after crossing the line in seventh.

“The car was feeling great all weekend and as soon as we got to qualifying, that kind of vanished for me,” he said.

“The grip just disappears for me. P3, I had plenty of pace in me, and then get to qualifying and the tyres won’t work.

“Nothing had changed on the car.”

Hamilton is the most successful driver at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, claiming seven wins alongside Michael Schumacher.

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